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Sunday Recap: Virginia Senate Committee Passes Clean Economy Act

Posted by Monique Hanis on Feb 10, 2020

AEE Applauds Senate Committee Passage of
Virginia Clean Economy Act

National business group lauds Senator McClellan for leadership on SB 851 that puts state on path for 100% clean energy by 2050, will create tens of thousands of jobs

RICHMOND, Feb. 10, 2020 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy applauded Virginia Senate leaders for passing SB 851, the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), out of Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Sunday afternoon. The vote was 12-3.  

“AEE and its member companies, which employ more than 100,000 Virginians across the Commonwealth, are thrilled by the actions of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee yesterday," said Advanced Energy Economy Virginia Executive Director Harry Godfrey. “We look forward to the full House and Senate taking action upon this landmark legislation early this week and transforming Virginia into a a leading state for clean energy."

"We credit the persistent leadership of Senator McClellan with support from Senate committee chairman Saslaw for this remarkable progress," said Godfrey.

The bill, a companion to HB 1526 that passed the House Labor and Commerce Committee, would enact a plan into law to implement Gov. Northam’s goal for Virginia to produce 100% of its electricity from clean sources by 2050. The four pillars of VCEA would eliminate all utility pollution by 2050 and require major investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources throughout the Commonwealth.   

broad coalition of environmental groups, clean energy organizations, social justice, and businesses support the VCEA that was first introduced Dec. 19 by Senator Jennifer McClellan, Del. Rip Sullivan, Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, and Del. Alfonso Lopez.

The full House is expected to vote on HB 1526* today, with SB 851 taken up by full Senate tomorrow in order to meet Virginia's Feb. 11 "crossover day," the deadline for bill action in both chambers.

Background Resources:

  • "Virginia lawmakers unveil clean energy legislation, "13 News Now story here.
  • "Lawmakers, Advocates Unveil Historic Clean Energy Legislation in Virginia," coalition press statement.
  • “Virginia Advanced Energy Jobs” fact sheet here published by Advanced Energy Economy with data from labor economist BW Research using data from the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report.
  • “Virginia's Energy Transition: Charting the Benefits and Tradeoffs of Virginia's Transition to a 100% Clean Energy Grid" report here by The Greenlink Group for Virginia Advanced Energy Economy. 

*AEE offers free, complimentary access to its PowerSuite online platform tracking all federal and state energy legislation and regulatory filings to credentialed media. Sign up for a free trial and contact Monique Hanis ( for permanent access.

About Advanced Energy Economy:
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and in more than a dozen states around the country, including Virginia. AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.5 million U.S. workers. Learn more at, track the latest news @AEEnet.

Topics: Press Releases